Hello there, friends. Not too long ago a man named Brendan Q. Ferguson roamed these hallowed halls, often taking the time to update the Telltale Games Incorporated blog with inspirations, philosophies and robust storylines for jaw-dropping RPGs. For those of you who are familiar with Brendan Q. Ferguson, his updates to the blog were brilliant shooting stars, sporadically streaking across the night sky, sometimes careening off course and setting a farmhouse ablaze.
I had the rare luck to share an office with Brendan Q. Ferguson. Tucking himself in behind the server cables, Brendan made room in his modest closet for this doe-eyed designer, fresh off the boat from Los Angeles, here with my steamer-trunk of belongings, ready to make the great American video game. It turns out my first title was British. But I digress.[readmore]
Once I adjusted to Brendan's erratic schedule and daily caterwauling for peanut butter sandwiches, I found him to be not only be an invaluable design mentor but also a savvy ambassador to the eccentricities of life at Telltale. Brendan was the one who told me not to look Randy Tudor in the eye, lest he consider it a threat and attempt to bite me on the face. Brendan was the one who taught me that if I ever miss "Bagel Friday," crumbs can be gathered from inside of the toaster and from behind the counter and molded into a whole new bagel and held together with just a little water.
Brendan has since moved on to a life of philanthropy--or is it philandering? I forget which is which. Today, I'd like to pass along some more of his insights achievements and overall highlights to you, dear reader. BQF maintained strict video game design philosophies and would often bestow upon his office mate (me) gems of advice that would vastly improve a fledgling game design or floundering dialog. Some of those might follow.
- While working on the design document for the previously unannounced The Blades of Stenchtar III, Brendan imparted on me some super important game design knowledge:
"Always write a trilogy," he said. "The odds are your first game is going to be a failure or sell like gangbusters, so it's best to have a couple saviors or obvious cash-grabs waiting in the wings."
"I'm just working on episode three right now," I said.
"Even with episodes. Write a trilogy. You should be working on episode 3 dash 1 right now and then write two more even more awesome versions."
- One night, while working late, the Russians parachuted into San Rafael and tried to take over the country from within. Brendan helped lead an opposition force, often screaming "MARMOTS!" during hasty attacks in order to intimidate the enemy. He also made a brave, tearful (but ultimately unfulfilled) promise to Telltale CTO Kevin Bruner to "avenge him" after his capture and internment. Eventually (and expectedly) the Russians could no longer withstand the impenetrable passive-aggressiveness of Marin County residents and left. Brendan made delish grilled cheese sandwiches while we waited them out.
- When new hire Walter the rigger began to foam at the mouth and got what Daniel H-Bomb Herrera has since described as a "the crazy eye," Brendan swooped into action, buckling Walter's knees and throwing him down the stairwell. Everyone at Telltale was saved from what would have probably been rabies and not a seizure.
- More design wisdom: when at all possible, Brendan always recommended putting a potato peeler inventory item in the game because "People like to find an object that puts them on the lookout for obvious things to use it with… or creatures to peel." Really, who doesn't like peeling? Brendan also was of the belief that most peels are gross. A sound opinion!
- Brendan won the illustrious Telltale Award "Employee of the Hour," a record nineteen times in a row. John Sgro, who sits in distant second place with six consecutive wins argues that Brendan's title shouldn't count because most of it took place over a weekend, but that's only because Sgro lives in Connecticut now and everyone knows that the east coast time-zone makes you an insufferable complainer.
When Brendan left for New Orleans a few months ago he left me his mini-fridge. In it you will find whole-seed mustard, a half-eaten jar of jam, and a veggie calzone that Brendan ate half of and I'm saving for his Simba-like return to our humble pride. Those of you who have played Brendan's games know of his unquantifiable talent and unhealthy obsession with monotremes but not until you own a man's fridge are you really aware of what makes a man tick. And when it comes to Brendan Q. Ferguson, it's a bold concoction of humanity, creativity and mozzarella cheese. Brendan is truly one in a million thousand two million.
Until next time.
- Sean Vanaman